Authorities urge caution on water after boater deaths

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Another boater has lost their life on Indiana waters. On Sunday, authorities recovered the body of 27-year-old Siddarth Panicker from the Driftwood River in Bartholomew County. His death the latest this summer involving Indiana waters and there are still several weeks to go before the end of boating season.

Panicker had gone under Saturday when his canoe tipped over.

“The canoe capsized and life jackets were not being used at the time,” Corporal Jet Quillen of the Indiana DNR.

At the time, crews were in the area after rescuing four other kayakers from dangerous conditions. Earlier this week, crews found the body of 26-year-old Luke Clark in Sugar Creek after witnesses had seen him being swept downstream.

“Even though you’re out having a good time, you’ve got to remember that the danger is always there,” said Quillen.

There have been several fatalities on Indiana waters just this summer and with a few more weeks to go of good boating weather, experts say everyone needs to be safe.

“Unfortunately, accidents happen,” said Quillen.

Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broad Ripple rents out canoes and kayaks and Steve Olshin, who works there, said fast-moving waters can pose a real danger.

“You can tend to be paddling in water and not really…tell the force, or how much it’s going to take to swim out to get to safety,” said Olshin.

Indiana law requires boaters keep a flotation device within reach, but experts say it’s best to just wear your life jacket all the time.

“Once you go in, you’re not going to be able to grab it,” said Olshin.

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